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                  AUGUST 2013 ISSUE
earThe Tune Up
Tips that will lead to better musicianship


Recording your music for the first time in a professional studio can be unbelievably exciting...and terrifying! The environment, the recording process, and the goal of the session feel radically different than your weekly band practice. You're at the studio to lay down the best representation of your songs and that will demand a new level of excellence. Here are four tips to help make your first session a positive and productive experience.


* Get ready - Before going into the studio, rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse some more! In other words, really get to know your parts. Record your songs on a computer, a digital recorder or even an old-fashioned cassette deck. The recordings don't have to sound beautiful - they just have to be good enough for you to clearly hear the arrangements. Listen to them and work towards making your parts sound as true as possible to what you'll be playing in the studio.


* Get Set - Make sure that your drum set is in good working order. At a recording session there is nothing more frustrating than having to deal with rattles, squeaks, and weird overtones that come from a well-loved, but well worn drum kit. Plan in advance to oil your pedals, replace stripped screws and put new heads on your drums. Not sure how to tune your drums? That's okay. This would be the perfect time to take some tuning lessons from a trusted friend or experienced teacher. Sure, it might add to the recording cost. However, once you learn how to tune your drums, you will gain the confidence to problem-solve, not just at that first session, but at future sessions and gigs to come.


* Almost There - On the day of the recording session, get to the studio early, shake hands with the engineer, and look around. Get a sense of the room you're recording in. Give yourself time to set up your kit or the studio drums that might be available. By getting to the recording studio early, you can get comfortable with the layout, the set-up, and the people you'll be working with. That can only lead to making the unknown a little less scary.


* Go! - Now it's time. The other bandmates have shown up and you're ready to roll. It's time to be creative. It's time to be passionate and compassionate. It's time to be "you" on the drum set. Make sure you can hear what you need to hear in your headphones for inspiration and cues...and then go for it! Forget about being a one-take wonder or a human metronome. Just play with all of your mind, body and spirit. If you do, you will get what you came for - a great bunch of takes!


The first recording session. It's normal to be thrilled by it. It's normal to be terrified by it! It is, after all, the first. But if you really prepare for it, you'll see it for what it is - an experience that leads to greater knowledge, confidence, and skills that you'll be able to take with you wherever you go.




Evan has been busy this summer at Grahame Central Station Studios. He's been recording with The Crowd Scene and The Alice Despard Group! For a glimpse into the world of professional recording, check out Evan's video clip, " A Day in the Studio",  and see the real deal when it comes to cutting tracks! 


A Day in the Studio!
A Day in the Studio!


Something new is always happening at Experience Drums!


Please check out our site at to keep up with our latest programs and workshops!






 or contact

Julianne Stewart
Vice President


Evan on Drums 



Well, summer is here. The weather is warm, the pools are open, and for at least one more month, ice cream counts as dinner. This season makes you feel like you should be outside doing something. Doing what? Oh, just about anything!


But for me, this summer is different. It's so different that I've given it a name: "The Summer of Reflection." For the first time in my professional career, I've decided to take part in a brand new activity. It's called thinking.


I've always been the type of person that loves to do stuff. I love to teach. I love to perform. I love to write. I love to build community. Honestly, I've just been doing what I love to do, never thinking about the choices I've made. That changed, however, after a recent meeting with some friends. I wasn't asked about workshop gigs or how my next article was coming along. I was challenged to think about what I really wanted to do with Experience Drums and how I was going to reach certain goals. I had to stop in my tracks, think, and admit that although I was having the time of my life, I had no clue as to how to make Experience Drums a solvent company. Humbling, yes. Embarrassing, a bit. Life changing, very!


So gang, this summer I'll be working extremely hard. I'll be pondering our mission statement. I'll be meditating on our website. I'll also be dreaming about programs that Experience Drums can take on the road. And I'll be doing it all through prayer, love, commitment to serve and...thought.  


 Evan's sig
Evan Pollack



Zoro the drummer.


His trademark hat and smile can be seen in every drum magazine out there!


His powerful work with artists such as Lenny Kravitz, Bobby Brown, New Edition, and Phillip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire) has made him an in-demand performer, studio musician and clinician. His best-selling Commandments series of R&B drumming books has affirmed his place as one of the leading authorities on the subject. And his new book, The Big Gig, written to merge goals for success with spiritual achievement, is making him well known outside the drumming world as well!  This is one committed man!


But what is Zoro committed to? What drives him to give nothing but the best of himself to others? And why did he start Zoro International Ministries (ZIM), a ministry dedicated to helping young people understand their purpose here on earth?


Find out in this month's Community Saints interview with none other than "The Minister of Groove" - Zoro!


To learn more about Zoro, visit his site at


To learn more about Zoro International Ministries, visit


To learn more about Zoro's latest book, The Big Gig, visit




Mat M.   




This month's Drum Beat comes from the amazing Mat Marucci! Mat is an active performer, author, educator and clinician. And when I say active, I mean active! A popular musician hailing from Sacramento, California, he's played drums with artists such as Jimmy Smith, Kenny Burrell and Pharoah Sanders, among many others. His recordings have earned great reviews from publications such as Downbeat, Jazz Times, and Drum! In addition,he has written drumming books for Lewis Music and Mel Bay Publishing, and his articles have graced the pages of Modern Drummer, Downbeat, and the Percussive Arts Society's Percussive Notes.


Here's Mat Marucci's four bar jazz groove that blends a little bit of Latin music with the standard jazz pattern! Try it out and see why Jackson Griffith of the Sacramento News and Review described Mat's playing as "A ride to deeper dimensions..."


To learn more about Matt, check out his site at


Special Note - If you dig Mat's rhythm, you're in luck! We'll be featuring him on our Teachers Resource page debuting in September 2013!

Click here to view  
Triangle B
Experience News

The month of August means that Virginia is one month away from the start of its school year! Experience Drums will be meeting with band directors across the state to find out what additional resources they need to help their students grow. We plan to take what we learn and develop programs and materials that will truly help the music educators here in Virginia, and hopefully everywhere else! Wish us luck as we head back to school before the kids do!